Donald Trump and the New England Patriots organization fired off on the media for drawing comparisons between the Super Bowl Patriots team that showed to meet President Obama in 2015, and the 2017 Super Bowl Patriots that were ceremoniously congratulated by President Donald Trump on Wednesday, April 19.
It had long been speculated that the number of Pats making the trip would be scant, in light of teammates Martellus Bennett, Chris Long, and others saying they'd pass over their opposition of the President. And when the bunch appeared for photos with Trump, the press was ready. Within minutes headlines were making mention about how noticeably small the New England caravan of '17 was in comparison to past years. As was the case with Trump's unimpressive Inauguration ceremony, a photo of Wednesday's meet and greet stitched together with a photo of the 2015 event in Obama's White House went viral, showing members of the New England team stretching up steps behind Obama's podium, in contrast to a more humbly assembled group in the background of the current U.S. Commander In Chief.
By Wednesday night, the Patriots Twitter page had issued a statement challenging that the comparisons are taken out of context, clarifying that "In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs. In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn.” By Thursday morning, Trump himself tweeted a response to the reports, taking aim at the New York Times specifically. "Failing @nytimes, which has been calling me wrong for two years, just got caught in a big lie concerning New England Patriots visit to W.H," the President wrote.